I couldn’t agree more with VA-01 Democratic candidate Edwin Santana on this:
With the news of the TransCanada Columbia gas pipeline explosion in West Virginia last night, I wanted to reiterate my position on these pipelines.
I am absolutely opposed to new construction. The Keystone Pipeline, which leaked 210,000 gallons of crude oil in Nebraska, was also owned by TransCanada. These pipelines are considered safe by some — until they’re not. When they inevitably fail, the best-case scenario is no loss of life, totally disregarding the damage we do to the environment.
To quote another candidate in this race: “It’s very easy to be against those pipelines, but I’m not. If they’re properly approved and properly made, they’re the safest way to transport fuel.” This statement is wrong, and misses the point entirely. Natural gas is ONLY transported by pipeline, unless it is liquified to be shipped overseas, and these pipelines are only safe, until they are not. But the biggest point this candidate misses is that we need to immediately transition to renewable energy.
Climate change is happening, and the time for incremental steps and half measures is over. The rest of the world, which remains in the Paris Climate Agreement, seem to understand this issue. The United States, under Donald Trump, which stands alone in opposition, does not.
We need to be sure that our elected leaders understand the urgency of this issue.